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About ricm

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  1. I have found many links for recycling green waste through Sheffield Council/Veolia but I can't find a link for the sale of the finished compost. Does anyone know where Sheffield Council sells its compost/soil improver/soil conditioner? Thanks, Ric
  2. I recall it's going to pass straight through the Wheeltappers Arms. He's really not pleased.
  3. As a Sheffield resident I would never use HS2 at Meadowhall. Why travel out there, wait, change trains or tram only to spend possibly more time doing that then get on a slower direct train from Sheffield Midland? And how does either option serve all the people of South Yorkshire? Someone, somewhere is going to have a difficult journey to connect with HS2. And how does shaving minutes of the journey miraculously bring prosperity, more jobs, inward investment to the region? I find the case overstated. I think all most people want is a commitment to a rail network that continues to be improved everywhere over time. A single HS line can only ever benefit a few alongside or near to the direct route. I'd rather see a long-term solution that benefits "the many" by upgrading the existing network for all the major towns together with improved connecting links. Now if HS2 were the beginning of that wider network that would be different...
  4. Hi, I just wanted to add my latest experience to this thread. I have no idea about the work that Remar undertakes both in this country and abroad. I chose Remar for the reason that my mother's house needed to be cleared for sale. We wanted all of the furniture to go to charity. We knew that Remar took large electrical items so they were an obvious choice for the fridge, freezer and washing machine. We also had a double bed (without the fire safety label) and a settee, footstool and chair (with a fire safety label) plus a few other small items. I was told when I made the arrangements for collection over the phone that without a fire safety label the items could be taken but only for disposal and that there would be a charge. I had no problem with that. On arrival the various items were checked over. The bed with no label incurred a £30 disposal fee. The settee with full safety labels, was said to be "saggy" but to be honest it was in great condition. The driver said he didn't want it but would take it away for a fee. Another £30 was added to the disposal fee. £60 in total. There was no official documentation by way of receipt, just cash in hand. The driver said that he and his mate were volunteers and that it would cost them to dispose of the items. I have no disagreement with the fact that disposal does cost. But how much is realistic? And why no book of receipts? Why even no paper, pen or anything else for the driver to sign? What records are kept of income and expenditure or declared to Inland Revenue? Surely there needs to be some record, especially if a proportion of all clearances result in some items for disposal? If so, then the cash in hand per day for such volunteers would not be insignificant. Personally I felt I was over a barrel given the impending completion date for the sale of the property. It's not so much the money but the correctness of the procedure, the lack of any audit trail. However, I was told that if I popped into Remar I could obtain a receipt. But for how many people is this convenient? And how often does this happen? I wish Remar well. It has obvious successes and that is a good thing. Many of the items we gave will be sold and there ought to be a corresponding benefit to those in need. However I personally would never use them again. I was left feeling extremely uncomfortable with the "disposal" arrangement. I am not saying that there was anything untowards but in future I would want to donate to a charity with full transparency and accountability with appropriate record keeping at the point of transfer - especially if it involves a payment.
  5. Yes, I know it isn't Christmas, but I have an 8' container tree that didn't survive the winter and I'd like to replace it as soon as possible. Anyone know local suppliers where I can view before buying? Thanks, Ric
  6. Thank you - another good idea. I think Tuesday I have lots of potential venues to call. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Ric
  7. Quite a wide area: Hillsborough and on into town or from town up towards Shirecliffe or from town up towards Crookes. ---------- Post added 26-05-2014 at 09:28 ---------- I had wondered about that - not sure if they would object or not but I can always phone up and ask. The fact that you have seen this at the library is encouraging. Thanks.
  8. Hi, Does anyone know of a venue where I can give an adult learner a couple of hours tuition a week? Somewhere fairly quiet? Alternatively anyone know where I can hire a desk for an hour or two a week? I have an adult learner who wants to return to studying and needs a neutral, quiet space away from distractions at home. Thanks.
  9. We have received our final prices too. Must say I am very disappointed in the savings quoted - and the terminal bonus in over a year's time seems a long, long way off. All of this prompted me to do some checks with MoneySupermarket, Uswitch and Which? all of whom came up with exactly the same results. The best potential bargains are from Spark Energy. But then I checked the internet to see if there were problems with this new company. The number of complaints and poor ratings said it all. Although the potential savings are less with other suppliers their customer satisfaction ratings are much better. For us, nPower seems OK (they are our current supplier). Which? also provides ratings for value for money, customer satisfaction, etc - information that I regard as highly valuable given the number of sharks out there. SSE has good customer satisfaction rating and relativeley good potential savings. I note also that the Co-Op has a very good rating and 100% renewable energy supplies - not the greatest savings but certainly, despite their relativley low position in the price wars, one that is better than the Sainsbury deal provided via iChoosr (the company working on behalf of the Shefield City Council). I expected better from this collective deal/auction and wonder how much money has been spent (wasted?) by the Council on the leaflets, web site, etc. etc, especially when there are perfectly good comparison websites out there where you can (potentially) get much better savings depending on the tarrif you currently enjoy. Ric
  10. On the news the poor turnout was quoted as "voter apathy" and that next time people would vote because of the obvious benefits. To me it is nothing to do with apathy. It is a shambolic pretense that electing a commissioner is a democratic initiative and that because of this we can all have a say. £100,000,000 is quoted as the cost. This amount of money is an utter disgrace. I, and perhaps many others, did not vote becaue it is a farce. I think the spin doctors need to admit they got it wrong and have wasted a shed-load of money. Weren't the police always accountable? Didn't we always have a say? Or are we being conned that now our "say" means more?
  11. Thank you both. UglyBob: In fact the link to installers proved to be quite prolific in coming up with a number of contacts. I've e-mailed most and now awaiting replies. Corgigas: I shall look up 'Mr.Peacock' and see if he is interested. Regards all, Ric
  12. I'm finding it really hard to find a fully-accredited Viessmann engineer to service a boiler. Has anyone else had the same problem? Who did you eventually manage to find?
  13. You know... I was told I should have got a dog!
  14. I make no apologies for this long post. You don’t have to read it, so move on... I quote: "All those people who are worried about meeting a dog on the Commons should consider what it will be like to meet a two ton highland cow face to face. It won’t be on a lead and there will be no owner to call it away. It’s faeces will also be a much larger problem in every sense of the word, especially as they can transmit E-coli." I think we need to elevate the level of debate here. I've worked with cows and horses and have learnt to show respect to both. I have owned and looked after dogs and no dog ever, that I did not feel I could recall or control, was ever allowed off the lead in public spaces. Cruel? No. The dogs for which I was responsible learned control, accordingly were happy and I, benefitting from this arrangement, knew I could trust them implicitly. So they were let of the lead. Often. But is it so for the dozens of wayward dogs I see on the Common whose owners shout and scream after their dogs and wonder why the dog ignores them? Well... their shouting and screaming was ignored long ago when they lost (or never gained) control. And how often do I hear owners scolding their dogs not to leap up, or not to do this or do that as if suddenly, by evolution of unparalleled speed, their dog has acquired the gift of language or reason. We are not taken in. We know these people have absolutely no control and the pretence is transparent. I do, however, feel sorry for the vast majority of dog owners who enjoy our Common alongside the most perfectly controlled and happy dogs who end up being “tarred with the same brush”. Well done all those who are responsible owners! People want to enjoy the Common as a quiet place, a time to get away from the rush, panic and deadlines of contemporary living. People want to enjoy it for the exercise it gives, for the fresh air. They do not deserve other people’s uncontrolled dogs inflicted on them. If you don’t like this view then maybe you are in denial? It is utterly vacuous to bring into comparison the notion that cows will not be on a lead or have no owner to call it away. By the same argument do we close off thousands of public footpaths passing through farmland where cows, bullocks and bulls roam freely? Are you not being just a tad alarmist? Now to transmissible diseases. Tell my why you think the E. Coli in cow faeces is worse than the E. Coli in dog faeces. Which strain of E. Coli do you have in mind? Presumably, since you do not mention it, you have no objection at all to the other transmissible diseases in dog faeces such as Parvo Virus (one of the deadliest diseases in the dog population, particularly among puppies). Or how about whipworms (blood suckers, tunnelling into the wall of the intestine with vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss as common symptoms). Or how about hookworms, roundworms, Giardia and Cocciia? Not convinced? Then let’s throw in Campylobacter or how about Salmonella? Bah! Mere nothings! Or how about cryptosporidium or Toxocariasis? Hmmm..... Or do I try to defeat by assumption? If so, my apologies. Does it not for one moment cross your mind that there is a thing called diversity? That different habitats each support and sustain a whole range of different species? Perhaps as a tree lover you don’t care about diversity and care only about trees – or do I read too much into your name? Please, this is NOT an argument about dogs, it is about our environment, the quality and diversity of our environment and our duty of care to a wider range of species and not just those that like woodland. You might not like the view that the bracken and the trees threaten other species but the facts are there for all to see. How much of the view across our landscape is now hidden by trees where formerly as youngsters we were able to enjoy those views? How much of our countryside is gradually being swamped particularly by birch and by bracken? And do these species know when to stop? They do not. They advance because they have the built-in advantage over more delicate species. Eventually, without management, our Common will become woodland populated dominantly by birch, bramble and bracken. The distant views for us to enjoy will be lost. The grass and heath land habitats needed by many species will be lost. We will all be losers unless we intervene. The debate is and ought to be about how we intervene. Or do we do nothing as the “Wadsley self-willed land” dreamers believe we should? Google it if you need to. You might be led to believe that I do not believe in nature taking its course or that I dislike trees intensely. Actually I don’t. We really do need land left to its own devices; we really do need more trees and more carbon-sinking species than at any other recent time. But has anyone ever stopped to consider what is appropriate for the scale of wilderness, what is appropriate for genuine woodland might not be appropriate for our tiny little 0.4 sq km of Common? We enjoy a legacy and diversity that will change, that has changed. It was not so long ago there were hardly any trees on the Common. Photos taken just after the turn of the last century prove this. Fact. The Ordnance Survey placed the trig point on Loxley Edge because it could be seen for miles around. There were then no trees to obscure it. Fact. The mining for ganister and coal on the Common, the use of the Common as a resource for fuel left the Common denuded of trees. Succession led to grass and heather and bilberry. Hot on the heels of those has been bracken, bramble and birch. Left unchecked they will strangulate and dominate the landscape. It’s a decision to make isn’t it? Restore the Common to a pre-industrialised, pre-enclosure era and let it be covered by whatever will grow. Or restore it to the bleak, scraped soil of the early 1900’s when the soil became acidic, having lost the nutrients from leaf fall. Or restore it to the grassland and heath land it became during the 20th century. Or do we... and this is the new thing, this is the exciting thing, manage it? Accept that humans can work with nature and not always exploit it. Accept that we are part of nature and can manage a tiny area of a legacy for the enjoyment of all the people of Sheffield. Now I vote in favour of balance and diversity. I think the slopes and flanks can and should enjoy the natural succession of birch. If bracken comes with this then... OK, I will have to accept that too even though it harbours the ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Equally I think the upper reaches of the Common can be maintained as a different habitat; open, grass, heather and bilberry and the flowers also that thrive in that environment. After all those flowers just might help our declining bee population. If cleared of tree and bracken the upper reaches will also yield the most wonderful views to the distant hills, towards Sheffield and beyond. Won’t then we have the very best of both worlds? Won’t we have diversity? Won’t then we be able to look back and think we managed a good balance? The question is then: How do we do this? The tree huggers will bleat and complain and, if they win, we will end up with a monoculture of birch. So if not cattle, just how should we achieve the very best diversity? That is where the debate should be. The next question is: how many of us will get up there and volunteer to help clear the bracken and the birch consistently year-on-year? Will the cattle do this for us? I honestly don’t know, but please don’t let this important debate descend to measuring the relative sizes of the droppings of herbivores v. carnivores.
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